The content on this blog is my personal opinion and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the US Navy in any way.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Welfare Problems, Free Market Problems

Anyone care to guess what sort of tax rate you'll be paying to live in a welfare state with a lot of benefits?

I ask because I happened across an editorial in the Wall Street Journal that helpfully informed me that Sweden's personal income tax rate is over 61% - rather high compared to what most of us Americans deal with, but then it pays for a lot of nice benefits.

Of course, the editorial in question goes on to talk about the various problems that are created as a result. It focuses quite heavily on how both men and women end up in the work force in order to make a useful amount of take-home pay and how benefits such as subsidized day care create a situation in which women who might want to spend more time with their children can't - because taking themselves out of the work force to spend time with their kids is a significant penalty to their income that can't be made up in other ways (unless you're rich enough to eat the cost).

What surprises me about it is the implication that a free market system or lower tax rates wouldn't create this problem. There are plenty of working class families in the US that don't get to spend time with their children because both parents are working two or three jobs just to survive - and those families have no option other than to leave the kids on their own or find jobs that don't mind having children along, since they don't have day care options they can afford.

In the end, the whole question is a matter of which disadvantage one thinks is more likely or more severe. Unfortunately, most debate I see on the issue tends to focus on one side's disadvantages and ignores any effort to determine which problem is actually worse.

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